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IDF Simulates War with Lebanon As Tensions Spike

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IDF
DEBORAH DANAN

TEL AVIV – The IDF completed a series of drills Thursday simulating attacks from its northern border in preparation for a potential war in Lebanon, the IDF said.

“Conscripted soldiers, along with reservists, took part in the exercise. They practiced a rapid call-up of reservists, as well as operational capabilities and readiness to fight in Lebanese terrain,” a statement from the army said about the drills carried out by its Galilee Division.

The IDF’s 188th Armored Brigade conducted a separate drill, the army said.

“The brigade exercises were held as part of the enhanced 2018 training program. Their purpose is to prepare combat soldiers and their commanders for any scenario, and to enhance their readiness and capabilities for real-time threats,” the army said.

The 188th Brigade Commander said war with Lebanon could break out at any time.

“We must remember the meaning of the command, ‘War tomorrow,’ which tells us that any training situation may be the last before the real test of our abilities: the battlefield,” Col. Gal Shochami said.

“The 188th Brigade will be ready to fight on the battlefield, whenever and wherever it will be required,” he added.

Troops simulated “a variety of scenarios, and were required to practice logistic and operational efficiency over a prolonged period of fighting,” the army said.

In September, the IDF conducted its largest drill in two decades, with tens of thousands of soldiers simulating a 10-day war against the Hezbollah terror group.

The drills come amid rising tensions in the north following an incursion by an Iranian drone last Saturday.

The drone remained in Israeli airspace for a minute and a half before being downed by a combat helicopter. In response, Israel launched airstrikes on 12 Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria, including three air-defense batteries and four Iranian targets such as the control center that launched the drone, marking what IAF Air Staff Commander Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar said was “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has conducted against Syrian air defenses since Operation Peace for the Galilee” in 1982 during the First Lebanon War.

Syria responded with a barrage of missiles that resulted in the downing of an Israeli F-16 in which two pilots were injured, one seriously and another lightly.

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